Massatt bounced back to his brilliant best in the feature Gp 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, making a brilliant comeback for local trainer Owen Burrows and was cut to 12/1 from 33s with BetVictor for the QE2 on Champions Day at Ascot.
There’s good prize-money up for grabs at Windsor where Atletico (6.50) is given the nod to follow-up his recent course success in the £75,000 Sprint Series finale. The selection disappointed last time out at Glorious Goodwood when well backed for a competitive sprint handicap and looked in need of further. The step up to six furlongs look sure to suit and he must go close under the excellent Andrea Atzeni.
The pair combine with Maazel (7.20) in the 5f Handicap, who must go close in first-time cheek-pieces. The son of Elzaam has been expensive to follow this term and was a beaten favourite two starts ago at Brighton. Despite winning just one of his ten career starts I remain adamant he is better than 76-rated handicapper and must surely improve in first-time head-gear and the plumb draw in stall one.
It was a good weekend for the yard of Tim Easterby, who continued his excellent start to the season with former Gp 1 runner-up Mattmu bouncing back in the Great St Wilfred under David Allan. The Easterbys have a good record at Yorkshire tracks but have struggled at Thirsk, with 4 winners from 76 runners in the past 12 months, with Rose Eclair (5.45) expected to buck the trend in this afternoon’s finale. She is now winless in her last 15 runs but was beaten just a length last time out over course and distance and, with daughter Emily’s 3lb claim, can once again reward each-way support.
A field of 19 go to post for the feature 6f Handicap where recent course and distance runner-up Bogart (3.45) can go one better under Tom Eaves. Kevin Ryan’s consistent sprinter is up just 2lb for that narrow defeat but with the yard in good form should go close once more.
The pair will likewise fancy their chances with Briyouni (3.15) dropping to his lowest mark in over a year for the mile handicap. The selection was friendless in the betting prior to finishing fourth last time out at Haydock, when niggled along early before staying on to make late headway in the closing stages. I expect him to improve for that effort and with the handicapper taking off a further 2lb appears poised to be competitive once more.
Lingfield spectators will be treated to the arrival of Ryan Moore this afternoon, who should help Radio Source (3.30) shed the maiden tag for former boss Sir Michael Stoute. Moore was in the plate when the colt finished second on debut at Yarmouth and with further improvement likely is a confident selection to go one better.
Moore can complete a quick-fire double aboard Frankel filly Harba (4.00) for trainer William Haggas. The selection has been placed with aplomb by connections, and completed the hat-trick with a relatively straightforward success last time out Yarmouth under Frankie. A 16lb rise at the weights for back-to-back handicap winss seems fair and she will take all the beating in the £20,000 Fillies’ Handicap.